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Coconut Milk Yogurt

After I had tried almost everything to determine what was causing the indigestion and bloating I would experience regularly, I finally, on the advice of my Naturopath, spent the money and got a special blood test done.  This is not one the doctors usually provide so I did have to pay about $100 for it which enabled testing for 3 types of food intolerances, wheat, soy and dairy.  You can pay more for a more thorough exploration of the effects different types of food are having on your body but fortunately we found the route cause in the first test.

The problem for me turned out to be dairy foods.  I remember being relieved at the time that it wasn’t something I was too attached to such as coffee and that dairy was going to be the easiest to avoid!  I have since found this isn’t quite the case.  The biggest thing I missed initially was my yogurt in the mornings, it was summer and I was really enjoying yogurt with the lovely seasonal fresh fruit available, berries, mangoes and a good nut and seed mix.  I had tried the Soy Yogurt which has too many additives to make it enjoyable but then I discovered Coconut Milk Yogurt.

Although this is really yummy and good for you, it is quite expensive, can get a bit thick, goes off quite quickly and at the time was often a bit difficult to get my hands on so I decided to try making my own.

Fortunately, I got onto the right place with my first enquiry or I may have been tempted to give up. I found Green Living Australia online and rang to ask them about what I need to do to get started, the women who answered the phone was incredibly helpful and explained to me the most important part of the process was the yogurt maker itself as if the temperature does not sit within 37 and 42 degrees, the yogurt culture does not activate properly and if it goes above that and gets too warm then it is destroyed.   A friend had been given a yogurt maker as a gift although she already had one so had offered it to me to get me started, she was dropping it around the next day so I just ordered all the other goodies I needed whilst on the phone without ordering their recommended yogurt maker until I was able to determine whether the one I was getting would be suitable.

I purchased a dairy thermostat, container of pectin necessary to help thicken the coconut milk, some non dairy yogurt culture and sterilised storage jars.

When my friend brought the yogurt maker around it was a thermos type which was obviously not going to be able to hold the required temperature consistently for the required 12 to 24 hours to activate the cultures.  I checked for suppliers of the Green Living recommended yogurt maker online as I didn’t want to wait any longer to get started and found one in Camberwell so collected it the next day.

My first batch wasn’t quite right as I had put too much of the starter culture in and it was a bit clumpy.  The required amount of culture is so small that it isn’t easy to believe that this is all you need so it is a bit tempting to overdo it, a bit like concentrated laundry detergents!  The lady on the phone had explained to me that she heats the coconut milk to 40 degrees before putting it in the yogurt maker to get it off to a good start so the thermometer was very useful for this.

My second batch was perfect and so has the one I just made.  Now that I am confident I have it perfected I am going to get a bit more adventurous and add some flavours which they suggest you do once the yogurt it is made, not during the process.  My immediate thoughts have gone to adding cacao powder …. Will let you know how it goes.

The directions come with the starter kit but I will list the process below so that you can get an idea of how easy it is once you have what you need.

Place 2 cans of coconut cream into a saucepan and warm to 40 degrees celsius. Mix 1 tablespoon of sugar with 2 to 3 teaspoons of the Classic Pectin provided.  Sprinkle it in slowly while whisking vigorously to avoid pectin clumping.  Mix one serve of Yogurt Starter Culture in well to ensure the culture is evenly distributed throughout the milk.  Poor into yogurt maker and leave for 24 hours..  That’s it!
*The sugar acts as food for the culture and the pectin is the thickener, the coconut milk will not thicken without the pectin.

You can order all these things from greenlivingaustralia.com.au including the yogurt makers, they also have a list of local suppliers on their website.

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